The coming series with APU chips from AMD, known as Trinity with Piledriver cores inside, will use technology from Cyclos Semiconductor. Implemented in the chip is namely a technology that uses induction and resonance for saving power with up to 30 percent.

Cyclos Semiconductor was founded in 2006 by scientists from the University of Michigan to market a new technology they had invented. The technology is called Resonance Clock Mesh, was invented as more efficient version of the clock mesh that is found in most modern processorer, which is used to distribute the clock pulses across a circuit to make sure they reach the different parts at the same time. This is to eliminate skew, when pulses reaches different parts of the circuit unsynchronized. Using a regular clock consumes a lot of power, something which Resonance Clock Mesh remedies.

Resonance Clock Mesh uses an  LC circuit, that contains a coil and a capacitor, for making the distribution and tranport of the pulses more efficient. When a current is sent through the circuit the capacitor charges, and when it discharges it creates a magnetic field through the coil. When the capacitor is completely discharged a current is induced in the coil from the magnetic field, the capacitor recharges and the circle starts again. The company describes the technology as a pendulum that delivers the pulses and this is less demanding that keeping a pendulum going, stopping the pendulum between each pulse and then start it again for the next turn. The result is a processor with the same performance, but 30 percent less current needed.

Cyclos had many contacts with ARM Holdings early on to possibly implement Resonance Clock Mesh in ARM processors. But the first to use it with commercial interests is AMD, which has implemented it in its Piledriver cores. First with Piledriver and thus Cyclos’ technology will be the APU Trinity, a processor with integrated graphics that will replace the Llano APU toward the end of Q2. The chip maker hopes the technology will make it possible to deliver faster processors and graphics circuis, with the same or lower energy consumption at frequencies over 4GHz.

4 GHz in Turbo mode, but only 65W TDP – Cyclos to honor?

Piledriver builds on the Bulldozer architecture, which got a pretty lukewarm reception with the launch of AMD’s FX series in 2011. Mainly because the processor was overall too slow for their high energy consumption and price, and could not quite compete with Intel’s Sandy Bridge architecture. A technology like the one Cyclos’ developed could potentially give the successor to the Bulldozer architecture a better performance/watt ratio, and thus make it a much more appealing product.

Source: EETimes, SemiWiki(Cyclos)


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